As the cold season begins, here’s how to tell if you have flu or Covid-19

As the cold season begins, here’s how to tell if you have flu or Covid-19

As flu cases increase and the cold season begins, many are rushing to doctors to find out if they have the flu virus or Covid-19. 

According to a National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) report, flu infections have been on the rise since the start of the year, with the highest reported cases in Gauteng, followed by the Western Cape and Eastern Cape.

There was also a spike in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases, a respiratory infection that presents cold-like symptoms.

Dr Marlin McKay, who runs his own medical practice in Roodepoort, told TimesLIVE he had seen an increase in patients showing flu symptoms.

He said people with RSV infection, flu and Covid-19 show similar symptoms, making it hard to make a certain diagnosis without tests.  

“What I do in my practice is that I send patients for a triple swab, we are looking for Covid-19, influenza and RSV, and that is how we are really making the diagnoses. It is no longer just a clinical thing; we want it confirmed by a lab,” he said. 

He said those infected with Covid-19 often show milder symptoms than they would have two years ago.

“The influenza and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) infection [symptoms] have been a lot worse than Covid-19, that is what we have been seeing,” McKay said. 


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